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The Top 25 Best Original Song Winners So Far (Updated)

On to the new list! Continuing a tradition I’ve been keen on for years, I’m ranking the new crop of Academy Award winners. For nearly all of the Oscar categories, you’ll see me list the top 25 recipients of that prize. Sometimes, our newest winner will appear. Other times, they’ll be relegated to the Honorable Mention category. Who knows, maybe one or two won’t even make the cut? It’s a list series that I’ll do each and every single year, in the weeks after the ceremony concludes. So, while this is a fun way to think about the Oscars in the aftermath of the latest telecast, it’s also a beginning for another column here on the site. Of course, definitely show us your own lists as well, in the comments section below. We’re definitely keen to know what you think!

Today, Best Original Song is the category that’s in the barrel. For my money, the winners here are some of the best, pound for pound, of any category. Now, the nominees themselves these days don’t stack up to where we once were at, but still…the victors are beyond reproach. Just look at our latest winner in No Time to Die‘s song of the same name by Billie Eilish. It’s certainly good, but as it as good as the best Bond titles? No. And where does it even rank on this list?. You’ll see where it fell below, but that’s saying something. This is the category where people Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen can take home Oscars, so you do get some classics. My selections for the best of the Academy Award bunch below, in my humble opinion, are out and out classics.

Here now are what I consider to be the 25 best winners of the Best Original Song Oscar, to date:

Lady Gaga

25. I’m Gonna Love Me Again (Rocketman)
24. No Time to Die (No Time to Die)
23. Colors of the Wind (Pocahontas)
22. City of Stars (La La Land)
21. Take My Breath Away (Top Gun)
20. You’ll Be in My Heart (Tarzan)
19. Up Where We Belong (An Officer and a Gentleman)
18. Remember Me (Coco)
17. The Way We Were (The Way We Were)
16. (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life (Dirty Dancing)
15. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
14. When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio)
13. My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)
12. Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid)
11. Skyfall (Skyfall)
10. Theme from Shaft (Shaft)
9. Let it Go (Frozen)
8. The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart)
7. A Whole New World (Aladdin)
6. Over the Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz)
5. Can You Feel the Love Tonight (The Lion King)
4. Streets of Philadelphia (Philadelphia)
3. Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)
2. Falling Slowly (Once)
1. Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Honorable Mention: Glory (Selma), Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire), Man or Muppet (The Muppets), Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Talk to the Animals (Dr. Doolittle), and We Belong Together (Toy Story 3)

Bruce Springsteen

Stay tuned for another list later on this week or early next week!

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Robert Hamer
4 months ago

Oh wow, okay I have to step in and shout “objection!” to one of your ranked lists for the first time.

For one thing, Nashville‘s “I’m Easy” is 100% inarguably worthy of being in the top ten, probably top five, of any list ranking the best winners of Best Original Song and I don’t even see it listed as an Honorable Mention. Not only a phenomenally-written piece of music, but one that is integral to a key scene in the movie. How many winners of this award can claim that, as opposed to just something tacked on to the opening/closing credits?

Also, you ranked a Disney song written by Tim Rice ahead of two Disney songs written by Howard Ashman, which I’m pretty sure is illegal in special Disney jurisdictions.

Kellie
Kellie
4 months ago
Reply to  Joey Magidson

This is a fun category.

1. Shallow ( A Star is Born)
2 . When You Wish Upon A Star ( Pinocchio)
3. I’m Easy ( Nashville)
4 . A Whole New World ( Aladdin )
5. Fame ( Fame)
6. Fight For You ( Judas and the Black Messiah)
7. Let The River Run ( Working Girl)
8. Skyfall ( Skyfall)
9. Glory (Selma )
10 . What A Feeling ( Flashdance )
11. Chim Chim Cher- ee ( Mary Poppins)
12. I Just Called To Say I Love You ( The Woman In Red)
13 . Let It Be ( Frozen )
14. Over The Rainbow ( The Wizard of Oz)
15. Beauty and The Beast ( Beauty and The Beast)
16. Under The Sea ( The Little Mermaid)
17. Colors of The Wind ( Pocahontas)
18. Remember Me ( Coco)
19. Streets of Philadelphia ( Philadelphia)
20. The Way We Were ( The Way We Were)
21. Last Dance ( Thank God It’s Friday)
22. Mona Lisa ( Captain Carey USA)
23. Moon River ( Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
24. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head ( Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid)
25. Que Sera Sera ( The Man Who Knew Too Much)

HM I Need To Wake Up ( An Inconvenient Truth), The Morning After ( The Poseidon Adventure) , Evergreen ( A Star Is Born) , The Best That You Can Do ( Arthur)

Kellie
Kellie
4 months ago
Reply to  Kellie

Obviously I meant Let It Go For Frozen.

Kellie
Kellie
4 months ago
Reply to  Joey Magidson

The interesting thing is I would have probably ranked some of them differently if I hadn’t listened to them to do my rankings. I was reminded how good some of the are a few slipped for me but I still like them.

Brian H.
Brian H.
4 months ago

Great list. I do agree with Robert that I’m Easy deserves to be on the list and would be on mine most likely near the top. I’m actually going on a little road trip down to Cape May for Mothers Day and I’m going to listen to them all in car to and from in the 2 hour drives. So I’ll post my list after that because like Kellie said the list would be completely different if I didn’t recently listen to them all…it also might be completely different the next time I listened to them all. I know I made my list last year without revisiting some. I’m pretty sure Things Have Changed will still be number 1 for me. It’s one of my favorite dylan songs in one of my favorite movies. But I get it…dylan, especially post 1980 dylan is a mixed bag for some people.

With that being said I will disagree with Robert saying that an opening/closing credit song shouldn’t be considered. To me it depends…a song can either set a tone or give you a completed feeling at the end. Whether it’s original or not. I think of Joey’s guy Springsteen’s song the Wrestler…it’s the perfect song for the end of that movie for example. or Neil Young’s Philadelphia at the end of that film. And I think Things Have Changed was the perfect intro and exit to Wonder Boys. But also there is something to be said when songs like Shallow, The Weary Kind, I’m Easy or Falling Slowly is a huge part of the film itself. And when it’s close I’ll always go for that one when choosing a winner over one that is just in the credits. Ok I’ll stop rambling.

Kellie
Kellie
4 months ago
Reply to  Joey Magidson

Yes I don’t know where I’mEasy would have been had I not listened again. I just thought that’s so pretty a simple love song. Moon River slipped for me but it had no place to go but down. I was so taken with it for a time.

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Written by Joey Magidson

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